Oran Mor, Glasgow 24 January 2017
It was in either December 2015 or April 2016 that I first became aware of Margo Price the honky tonk country force of nature who is carving out a reputation as one of country music’s best new singer songwriters. I have her fellow contemporary country singer Caitlin Rose to thank for that introduction.
From the get go Margo’s honky tonk voice and songs reminded me of that pioneer woman country singer and songwriter Loretta Lynn. Both her voice and songs link directly back to that straight talking real life subjects and lyrics of Loretta. It is perhaps no surprise that Margo Price finds herself debut album released on Jack White’s Third Man Records – White produced and collaborated with Loretta Lynn on her ‘Van Lear Rose’ comeback in 2004.
Like Loretta the songs come from hard bitten experience and deal with the grittier side of life. This is not a moon in June, hearts and flowers songwriter. These are songs that are inspired by hard times, hard living, and redemption. Above all they are infused with her own life experience which thanks to the sheer quality of her songs connects with audiences because of the honesty of the tales they tell. The music harks back to classic country but serves up a bite often lacking from machine modern country.
I got hold of her album ‘Midwest Farmer’s Daughter’ as soon as it came out and it has been on my regular playlist ever since so when I heard she was making her first visit to Scotland to play as part of the annual Celtic Connections Festival getting tickets was a no brainer.
Live Margo Price and her band cook up full tilt honky tonk country rock’n’roll with a panache and warmth that connects straight to the audience. Opening with ‘How the Mighty Have Fallen’, then taking the show through the many highlights of the album. Stand outs including ‘Hands of Time’, ‘Four Years of Chances’, ‘Weekender’ and ‘Hurtin’ on the Bottle’ adding covers of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ and an inspired workout on Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ Margo showed us all a great time.
She says it took her thirteen years to get to the point of releasing her debut album and on the strength of the new song she featured at Oran Mor ‘You Told me with Your Eyes’ and another new song not performed ‘All American Made’ she’s got more to share with her, rightly, growing audience.
As much as I’m looking forward to future recordings from Margo I can’t wait to catch her live again, real soon.
Find out more about Margo Price www.margoprice.net
Listen to her session on KEXP https://youtu.be/iavwbKHAnYE